Inspired and depressed

By September 21, 2019Australian Politics, Environment

I attended the climate strike rally in Canberra yesterday, and was impressed by the number of people in attendance, which I estimated to be about 15,000. However, my expertise in estimating crowd sizes is limited. What I found inspiring were some of the children from Grade 6 (!) to Year 12 who spoke at the rally. When I was their age, I’d have been mortified speaking to a crowd larger than my family, but these kids were speaking to thousands and doing so with aplomb. It gives me hope for the distant future when there are now children of such ability and such confidence able to get their message across so well. This is the same reason I was depressed by the whole business, because it is children begging our generation to consider their future. The fact that all the government politicians whom I saw interviewed either whined about children not being at school, or dismissed their concerns about the future. One of the most childish efforts was by former Liberal opposition leader in the Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) Legislative Assembly, Jeremy Hanson. He tweeted:

“These are the noisy Australians who lost the Federal election while the quiet Australians are busy at work or continuing with their education. Gesture politics and virtue signalling at its finest”1

Apart from apparently believing that those too young to vote lost an election, there is a certain bitterness detectable in Hanson’s response. This is perhaps because his leadership of the ACT opposition was perceived a failure and his political career is clearly in decline, and because the Liberal Party have been out of government in the ACT for almost 18 years. They are so bereft of policies that they do not look like being elected to government in the near future. It is also clear that the ACT branch of the Liberal Party is embarrassed by its association with the Federal Parliamentary Liberal Party, replete as it is with regressive religious nutters. This is because the ACT is one of the most progressive jurisdictions in the nation, with a higher percentage (36.2%) than the national average (29.6%) of people professing to have no religion2, and with 74.0% of those in the ACT who voted, delivering an emphatic yes in the voluntary same-sex marriage plebiscite3, the highest of any state or territory in the nation.

On top of this, the ACT will be the first jurisdiction outside Europe to move from a fossil-fuel-based electricity supply to 100% renewables and the ACT government did it more quickly and cheaper than planned4. So, despite the federal government denying climate change, and despite Jeremy Hanson’s disparagement of children and others at the climate rally, the electricity supply to Parliament House, the ACT Assembly, and Jeremy Hanson’s home will be entirely renewable. The irony is probably lost on the pathetic Hanson.

Sources

  1. https://twitter.com/JeremyHansonMLA/status/1174913980592095241
  2. https://quickstats.censusdata.abs.gov.au/census_services/getproduct/census/2016/quickstat/8ACTE?opendocument
  3. https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/1800.0
  4. https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6397306/federal-government-left-playing-catch-up-on-climate-change/

5 Comments

  • Robert Arnold says:

    It would be interesting and perhaps beneficial to gather the thoughts of the BRR (Blot Report Readers) in regard to reducing the human impact on the environment.
    I become locked in to my own ideas and find I need the input of others to compile a range of strategies.
    Any takers?
    What action(s) would you take if you were empowered to lead the planet out of the wilderness?
    I shall add mine but first I’d like to see the actions of a few others.

    • Mark Dougall says:

      Hi Robert. I’ve thought about your question. The problem is if I had sufficient power I would probably opt for neutering the human race, at least until our teeming masses were reduced by about 6 billion. I think a rapid but managed reduction of our populations would be preferable to the rapid and uncontrolled reduction that is seemingly more and more likely. It is also preferable to the terrible toll that is being taken on all the other inhabitants of our world.

      Since I don’t think that this solution is very likely what I would hope to see is something that has been proposed by a number of people. That is a type of staged attack on the crisis. First we have to stabilise the situation by stopping land clearing, and reducing emissions from fossil fuels to zero as rapidly as possible. We have the technological means to do the latter. We just have to overcome the vested interests who still wield disproportionate amounts of power. To do the former requires a complete change in the way nations deal with each other. This would mean paying farmers and landowners to care for nature rather than destroy it. That also will lead to a transfer of wealth from rich countries to those poorer countries. Since the rich countries to a large extent built their wealth at the expense of the poorer nations this should be a moral, as well as practical thing to do.

      This will only be the start. We then, as a species, need to start repairing the damage, as much as is possible. CO2 will increase for a while, and the global temperature is not likely to reduce for a long time. We have caused massive damage to our forests, grasslands, rivers, mangroves, mountains and oceans which must be, where possible, repaired. That means that the stupidity of the way our modern society has shaped itself with growth and consumerism at the centre of everything must change. Above everything else we need to learn to care for, protect, enhance and be dedicated to our environment. That means all the other living things must be respected and looked after.This is their world at least as much as it is ours. Our disgusting lack of respect for our world and our fellow living things, as a species, has put us in this position and if we do not change that aspect of our nature, as a species, then we and most of those other living things are doomed. I think we can but I hope we do it well before we are on the edge of the abyss. Unfortunately that edge is coming into view now.

      By the way the absolutely first thing that must happen is we get new and more intelligent governments and leaders in the USA, Australia, the UK, Brazil and a few other places.

      • admin says:

        Mark,
        Perfectly put. For my part, we have a yard and ‘garden’ that do not need watering and we walk as much as we can to get the groceries etc., and we buy stuff which is either in bulk or in recyclable containers. This is but a drop in the ocean. I really do think that millions are doomed. The latest IPCC report has indicated that climate change is speeding up and, as an example, sea level is rising now at 4mm per annum, rather than 3.2 mm per annum as I had previously written. We are in deep, deep trouble.

  • Mark Dougall says:

    Well done in showing your support for yesterday’s protest. I understand your depression, and I also have little dollop of hope. Although I have always been a lover of our environment I probably did not realise how much it meant to me until the last twenty five years or so. Strangely it has meant more to me the more it is under threat. I know this seems oxymoronic but I do feel that there are many more people who are now starting to realise not only what we have lost, but what is in danger of disappearing forever. We do have the means to save and reverse things, it just requires the will. These younger people will see their world under threat much more clearly than the badly lead and poorly educated older generations, and I mean those generations aged 20 and above, not just ancient people like me. Yes I feel terribly depressed sometimes about both big and smaller things that we have done to our world. Like this morning, when we found a bundle of magpie feathers in our back paddock from a baby magpie that was fine yesterday but has been killed by a fox. To counter that my wife also just told me that some people we know who were doing weed clearing in nearby conservation park found some fledgling wedge tailed eagles and were ecstatic. The magpies will persist, so will the eagles, and so should we. Cheers and keep up your good work.

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